Sunday 15 December 2019

An unfair society

Sir -- As the Irish Government met in the luxurious surrounding of Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, they were careful to evoke, at least in their own little minds, the notion of "fairness".

In fairness, the word "fairness" is being mutilated. You know it's fair to say that in a time of great upheaval, 'up' is in fact 'down' and a 'promise' is a lie that is about to kick you in the head. In fairness, unless you train your brain to keep up with the ever-evolving abuse of every-day terms, then you stand fair chance of being fairly well massacred. The misapplication of the word "fairness" by government ministers at the moment should, in fairness, be met with the same reaction as miners that have just watched their canary keel over. In fairness (anyone really sick of the word 'fairness' by now?), we all engage in this sort of thing. Whenever we begin a sentence with "with respect", as we are about to heap deliberate contempt upon the thoughts of another, we are closer to the mindset of an Irish government minister than we would, in fairness, like to admit. In fairness (I actually mean the common, simple, Oxford English Dictionary meaning of the word) can we stop using the word "fairness" with regard to what is happening to this country. The least we can do is to stop abusing the beautiful language we have done so much to advance as a people. There is nothing "fair" about Ireland. This is a nasty, backward, and vicious society. We're not savage in the "French" sense, we don't do our savagery in the open, we're much too suppressed for that. Ours is a very Irish kind of savagery. We need to service our vile thirst for hypocritical indulgence of our "souls", before we kill off innocence. Never can we admit our inveterate Un-fairness as a society. We're good Catholics, and good Catholics are charitable and "fair", aren't they?

Declan Doyle,

Lisdowney, Kilkenny

Sunday Independent

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